How Often Do You Replace Dinnerware? (How Many Plates?)

How Often Should You Replace Your Dishes?

There are two schools of thought when it comes to replacing your dishes. There’s the “use it until it falls apart” crowd, who would rather be washing a small pile of broken plates and cereal-bowl shards than spend money on new ones. And then there are those who think once you’ve been using something for more than a year (or more) it’s time to change things up.

The right replacement cycle for your dishes depends on how much you use them and how much you care about pristine table settings.

Obviously, if something is totally shot — chipped or cracked — it’s probably time to replace it. But if the only issue is that your dishes look tired, it might just be a matter of cleaning them with a little extra elbow grease.

If you’re using your dishes daily and they still look good but feel rough (or heavy), consider replacing them before they chip or crack.


So… How Often Do You Replace Dinnerware?

If you’re not sure how often to replace dinnerware, chances are, you’re not the only one. After all, the answer depends on many factors — the type of dinnerware, how often and how hard you use it, your budget, and more.

Tough ceramic plates that get heavy use will probably need replacing sooner than porcelain plates used once a week. And if your dinnerware is chipped or cracked, replace it immediately.

How Long Does Dinnerware Last?

  • If you’re using stoneware or glazed china daily: Replace it every three to five years.
  • If you’re using earthenware or enamelware, which can chip or crack easily: Replace it every year or two.
  • If you’re using fine china such as bone china or porcelain: Replace it every three to four years.

In the end, it’s really a matter of personal preference, but most recommend you replace your dinnerware every 3 years.

However, it’s perfectly fine to go longer than that, it would be a shame to throw out something that is still in good shape and has good resale value.

If you still have some vintage Corningware from your grandmother, for example, then maybe it would be unwise to get rid of it.


How Many Sets of Dinnerware Should I Have?

How many dishes does a family of four need? Well, there are some good standards for determining that. For example, you want to make sure that you have enough plates, cups, and bowls for everyone to eat a meal at the same time.

You should also have enough storage space for the number of dishes you have. This can sometimes be difficult if you live in an apartment or small home and will have to find other storage space to accommodate your dishes.

Maybe it’s a good idea to give some thought as to whether or not you really need all those leftover China patterns as well, because they don’t always fit into your dish cupboards and you can end up stacking them in your cupboards.


How Many Plates Should a Single Person Have?

While realistic you only really need one dinner plate for yourself and it comes in handy having more for when you have guests over.

The number of plates you need in your cupboard will depend on your needs and frequency of use, but for most people, somewhere between two and eight would be the ideal number.

How big is your extended family? Do you have a lot of friends? Do you like to entertain? If you have people around a lot you will need enough plates for them all.


How Many Dishes Should a Family of 4 Have?

The specific number of dishes you may need is not one that can be given exactly. There are too many factors involved to make such a rigid answer possible, including the size and shape of the rest of the dishes in your collection, how versatile the pieces are, how often you entertain, and how organizationally challenged you are.

With these factors in mind, a family of four should have at least eight dinner plates, and it is best to purchase a set of matching plates. There are many different types of dinnerware that families can choose from.

  • Tongue and groove dishes fit together in one large stack, saving space in the cupboard. These dishes come in a variety of colors and styles. They are also easy to clean and do not break easily.
  • Polished ceramic dishes are another option for families. These dishes are great because they do not scratch or stain easily.
  • Enameled dishes work well for families with small children because they are very durable.

A family who only needs four plates should select durable and inexpensive plastic plates, which can be bought in bulk to save money. The small size of these plates means that they can be placed on top of larger dishes when served during formal meals, so they will not take up extra space on the table while still being useful.

Families with teenagers may also want to invest in some glass plates to use as serving pieces during casual meals. This will allow them to have separate dishes for their meals as teenagers often want to eat different things than the rest of the family does.


In summary, there isn’t one clear-cut, right, or wrong answer to this question. Rather, people often have different reasons for changing their choice of dinnerware (or other kitchen supplies).

For starters, if you’re plagued by constant chipping and breaking no matter how careful you try to be, it’s probably time to upgrade—at least if you are particularly dissatisfied with the products you currently have.

In addition, if your everyday dishware is outdated and not very functional day-to-day, it might be time for an update.

Other people replace their dinnerware when they move into a new house or need a gift for someone special—and still, others continue using the same plates and dishes from generation to generation.

You may also be interested in… Is Stone Lain a Good Brand? (Dinnerware Sets – Round or Square) and Is Mikasa a Good Brand? (Dinnerware, Flatware, & Serveware)